The Power of Fear
By Ana Borden
Recently, I was having an early Saturday morning coffee date with a friend. We shared our latest updates and, as our conversation evolved, she shared her thought on an emotion I had not put much thought into before that moment. It was fear.
For some reason, I had always equated fear with that butterfly feeling in my stomach as a child before having to present in front of my classmates. Or when my heart would beat faster as I walked alone back to my car after an event.
As she spoke of her current experiences and challenges and its relationship to fear, it was as if I had been awakened. Listening to her perspective suddenly gave me a unique connection to this emotion and opened my eyes and answered so many moments when I asked God, “Why?”
Is fear the reason why a mother-to-be considers abortion? Is fear the reason a child mocks or bullies their classmates? Is fear the reason an employee continues at the same job, even when frustrated? Is fear the reason a spouse considers divorce? Is fear the reason why one being abused remains in the relationship? Is fear the reason why one considers and chooses cosmetic surgeries? Is fear the reason why we avoid speaking up and confrontations when we witness hurtful words and actions taking place? Is fear the reason why one does not believe in heaven or hell? Is fear the reason why one stays away from the Catholic Church, chooses not to attend Mass nor participate in the sacraments?
Typically, parents teach their children to fear strangers, situations or things, but I believe we should in fact be teaching them how to observe, respond and choose to make decisions to avoid fearful situations. The message we have taught our children is that God is all loving and all knowing. To be honest with oneself is to be honest with God. We show respect to God when we respect ourselves, our bodies and putting others first.
When we are respectful, truthful and reflective, we can take comfort knowing that God is all loving and forgiving and not to fear Him.
How do you teach your children to respond to fear?